GridPP in Manchester

Thu 26th April 2012

It had been almost 10 years but GridPP eventually returned to Manchester for a collaboration meeting last week. It was a long overdue trip and the locals made everyone welcome and the meeting was marked by some great discussions and interesting presentations from across the project.

The theme for the 2 days was “UK operations” and after a welcome from Prof Steve Watts, the head of Manchester’s School for Physics and Astronomy and long-time associate of GridPP, the first day got under way. To start were 2 overviews on high level aspects of GridPP from Dave Britton, the project leader, and Pete Gronbech, the project manager and a great talk from Prof. Chris Parkes, which gave an overview of LHC physics, at a level that was appreciated by many of the audience. After lunch there was a session of micro-talks on various aspects of GridPP operations, from monitoring and accounting to documentation and interoperability. The day ended with an open ended discussion session based on any issues raised by the micro-talks.
GridPP on the display of the Baby replica (Click image to be taken to a video of Baby in action)

For dinner, the entire meeting decamped to the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) in the centre of town to a fantastic spread sponsored by Dell and Viglen alongside a working replica of Baby, the world’s first stored-program electronic digital computer. The night didn’t end there and the local hostelries benefited from the custom of many members of the collaboration and their discussions.

GridPP members during a coffee break at GridPP28

However there was still one more day to go and bright and early on Wednesday morning it was a chance for the experiments GridPP supports to have their say. All 4 LHC experiments were presented and Chris Walker and representatives from some of the smaller experiments talked about the other VOs and the work GridPP has done with them. After a quick break for tea and coffee it was back to very in-depth nuts and bolts talks looking at networking, storage and optimising “many core” resources. The final session after lunch focussed on security but not before a status update from the Tier1 at RAL from Andrew Sansum.

Almost too soon it was then time to head home but after 2 days there was plenty to think about and a lot of things had been added to everyone’s to-do list. David Britton was especially happy with how the meeting went “It was great to have such a professionally hosted meeting at Manchester and I must thank all those who were involved in making it such a success. I think we made good progress in understanding the absolutely central role that the ops-team needs to continue to play in GridPP. The ops-team really helps demonstrates the value-added by having a GridPP project”.

The agenda can be seen here and all the talks from the 2 days can be downloaded from there.

GridPP29 will be held from the 25th to the 27th of September in Oxford.

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